NEW DELHI: India expressed hope that its two-way trade with Africa would reach USD 150 billion in the next five years, from USD 52 billion currently.
Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C R Chaudhary said the current level of trade is widely seen as way below the potential. He asked the African region to properly utilise the Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) scheme to boost trade between the two regions.
Under the scheme, import of almost all products from least developed countries (LDCs) to India attract lower or zero duties. "I am confident that India-Africa bilateral trade can touch USD 150 billion in the next five years. To begin with, trade can increase sharply if African LDCs can optimise use of the facility of DFTP," the Minister said at the CII-Export-Import Bank of India Conclave here.
He said that African exports can be enhanced through value addition and targeted promotion strategies. Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia called upon African businesses for greater utilisation of the scheme to promote trade.
She said that Export-Import Bank has approved about 167 lines of credit worth USD 10 billion of projects to 40 African countries as of February this year.
The Secretary, however, made a case for creating an enabling policy framework for fast implementation of projects.